Spoiler alert! If you don't want to have any idea how Belegar Ironhammer plays for the first 30 turns or so please leave this thread.
I wondered how the new fortress at the northern end of the vaults would affect the Clan Angrund campaign. I have now started 3 Clan Angrund campaigns at hard, very hard, and legendary. Some changes I noticed in the campaign.
The Skull Takerz and Black venom have been dead within a couple of turns in each game. No raiding armies show up from the north for the first 25 turns or so. This is a dramtic change as usually you have the skull takerz, black venom, and crooked moon all dropping in from time to time. This relative calm in the north leaves you to move south and properly punch the broken nose right in the face and consolidate the Vaults quickly. In the past Clan Angrund is like playing whack a mole with all of the raiding you have to chase away both north and south. If it wasn't for what happened next, I would say the campaign has gotten much easier for Belegar.
By turn 20 - 25 Skarsnik and the Crooked Moon has taken out Karak Norn. This happened in all three campaigns and he then used the underway to slip past the Empire's fort into the Vaults with 3 to 4 full armies. 2 of the armies had 3 stone throwers and 3 trolls in them. Skarsnik's army has the new arachnarok spider plus some cavalry for flanking. These armies proceeded to devastate my lone army and cities. I had a full army with the ancestors, 5 dwarf warriors, 3 longbeards, 2 rangers, 2 quarrelers, 2 grudgethrowers, and a bolt thrower. Even the ghosts couldn't hang in long enough to win the epic battles that ensued.
As the dwarfs I find it almost impossible to win when the enemy outnumbers your troops 3 or 4 to 1 while also having double the siege weaponry. In the third game I figured out a way to make it to turn 35 still alive and am getting ready to go on the offensive, but changing the difficulty level really didn't change much about how things played out. All in all an interesting experience so far.
I have seen other threads have said AI Skarsnik is cooped up and does nothing for 50 turns or more. I imagine Skarsnik is getting a special bonus because I am playing clan Angrund? If so does that mean they alter the AI start for individual campaigns? Is this only for certain rivalries? Have they done this in the past or is this new? I know this is atypical for Skarsnik from previous versions of the game, but I haven't played enough variety in the campaigns to notice how other rivalries starts are changed in a campaign due to who I choose to play. The hardest part is seeing anything happen since most of the action is taking place in the fog of war. I only see the aftermath of those distant wars.
Just though I would share. Anyone that has their experiences to add please do so.